Week in Review

Davis gets Posted

Buzz of the Week
Most feds like to stay off the front pages of the newspapers because it often means something has gone wrong. By contrast, most politicians don't mind publicity -- most of the time. But in these days of ethical hypersensitivity, Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) could not have been pleased with the July 28 edition of the Washington Post, which featured a Page 1, below-the-fold story headlined, "Wife, Friend Tie Congressman to Consulting Firm." The 4,350-word story suggests Davis, chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, provided additional access to clients of ICG Government, a consulting company led by Don Upson, a friend of Davis. Upson is a former congressional staff member and former Virginia technology official.

Putting specifics aside, the Post's story seems to be a harbinger of things to come. Ethical questions are increasingly pervasive in the business of government, perhaps more so than ever before. One reason is that procurement reforms enacted in the past decade encouraged agencies to buy the way the private sector does. But another reason is that the government is outsourcing more work than ever before.

These ethical questions could be the real test of whether decade-long procurement reforms continue or whether the government returns to a more regulated process.

Weighty issues, indeed.

Other noteworthy news
The Army created a program office for its Single Army Logistics Enterprise, which will be a factory-to-foxhole management system for all Army supply movements.... The Homeland Security Department is expanding its Automated Biometric Identification System to include biometric and limited personal information collected for immigration, intelligence, law enforcement and national security programs.... Thirty-two DHS contracts worth $34.3 billion involved significant overcharges, wasteful spending or mismanagement, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.... A special panel created under the Services Acquisition Reform Act recommended that Section 803, a Defense Department rule, be applied governmentwide to promote more contracting competition.... DHS officials proposed expanding a biometric program created to screen international visitors to include additional groups such as legal permanent U.S. residents, people seeking asylum and refugee status, and others.... The consulting firm Input reported that money spent through the General Services Administration's information technology schedule contracts will drop to about $16.3 billion, as spending shifts to other contract vehicles.... The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives won't be required to pay 50 percent of the broadband charges that ATF employees incur when they work from home.... The federal government failed to meet its small-business contracting goal for the sixth consecutive year, according to a report released by Democratic members of the House Small Business Committee.... The FBI hired Joseph Ford to be associate deputy director and oversee management of the bureau's employees, budget and IT infrastructure.... Hewlett-Packard agreed to pay about $4.5 billion to buy Mercury Interactive, which makes application management software.... The Senate directed DOD to adopt the Department of Veterans Affairs' electronic health record architecture in its version of the fiscal 2007 appropriations bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee's Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee.... The Army's Network Enterprise Technology Command will require that all new computers contain the Trusted Platform Module for hardware-based security.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.


  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group